Law Enforcement Torch Run

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics New York brings together nearly 6,000 police and peace officers from close to 500 agencies in a 56-leg relay that carries the Flame of Hope across the state each year. These Guardians of the Flame team up with Special Olympics athletes to symbolize courage and celebrate diversity.

The Torch Run—in New York and around the globe—is Special Olympics’ largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness event. Annually, it generates more than $2 million in contributions in New York alone, providing training, equipment, venues, uniforms and transportation for athletes.

It also exposes more than three million state residents to the message of hope and inspiration delivered by competitive athletes and their law enforcement champions.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics New York brings together nearly 6,000 police and peace officers from close to 500 agencies in a 56-leg relay that carries the Flame of Hope across the state each year. These Guardians of the Flame team up with Special Olympics athletes to symbolize courage and celebrate diversity.

The Torch Run—in New York and around the globe—is Special Olympics’ largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness event. Annually, it generates more than $2 million in contributions in New York alone, providing training, equipment, venues, uniforms and transportation for athletes.

It also exposes more than three million state residents to the message of hope and inspiration delivered by competitive athletes and their law enforcement champions.

June Worden, Director
Retired Lieutenant, New York State Police

Joe Barca, Assistant Director (Eastern Regions)
Retired Captain, Yonkers Police Department

Sal Gerbino, Assistant Director (Western Regions)
Deputy, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department

Steven Nigrelli, International Executive Council Law-Enforcement-at-Large
Staff Inspector, New York State Police

Capital District Region
Juanita-Salas Jackson
Troop G, New York State Police

Scott Leslie

Central Region
Jack Keller
Public Information Officer, New York State Police

Paul Waltz

Genesee Region
Erin Rogers
Investigator, Rochester Police Department

John Prewasnicak
Retired Lieutenant, Rochester Police Department

Michael Murray
Retired Sergeant, Auburn Correctional Facility

Richard Allen
Major, Troop E, New York State Police

Walter Sanders III
School Resource Officer, Rochester Police Department

Hudson Valley Region
Chris Hamel

Long Island Region
Mike Nied
National Trustee, FOP Grand Lodge

Kevin Dean

North Country Region
Brian Coakley
Investigator, New York State Police

Suzanne Ewing
Investigator, New York State Police

Southern Tier Region
Joseph Peters

Patrol Officer, Cortland Police Department

Neil Case
Trooper, New York State Police

Madeline Bay

Western Region
Jeff Wilson
Patrol Agent in Charge, U.S. Border Patrol, Buffalo Station

Jim Koch
Lieutenant, Hamburg Police Department

Mike O’Bryan
Trooper, New York State Police

Respect for Others

  • I will respect the rights, dignity and worth of all.
  • I will treat everyone equally regardless of sex, ethnic origin, religion or ability.
  • I will be a positive role model.
  • I will respect the property of all venues associated with events.

Ensure a positive experience

  • I will ensure that NYLETR events are a positive experience for all.
  • I will be fair, considerate and honest with anyone, and communicate with simple, clear and respectful language.

Act professionally and take responsibility for my actions

  • My language, manner, punctuality, preparation and presentation will demonstrate high standards during NYLETR events.
  • I will display control, respect, dignity and professionalism to all involved in NYLETR events.
  • I will encourage all members/volunteers to demonstrate the same qualities as above.
  • I will refrain from any form of personal abuse towards anyone, including inappropriate or unwanted sexual advances toward others, verbal, written, physical and emotional abuse.
  • I will be alert to any form of abuse from other sources directed toward anyone affiliated with a NYLETR event.
  • I will report any emergencies to the appropriate authorities after first taking immediate action to ensure the health and safety of the participants.
  • I will refrain from an overindulgence of alcohol while representing LETR/SO.

Quality service to the athletes

  • I will aspire to provide the highest quality event possible.
  • I will be a positive role model for the athletes in the program.

Health and safety of the athletes present at NYLETR events

  • I will assist in ensuring that the equipment and facilities are safe to use.
  • I will encourage athletes to seek medical advice when required.
  • I will assist, when necessary, making sure that prescribed medications and over-the- counter medications are taken at the proper times according to instructions given by the parent/guardian.

Purpose of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR)

The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run is to support the mission of Special Olympics New York through a partnership of communities and law enforcement agencies with the goal of raising funds and public awareness for Special Olympics New York athletes.

General

All details related to meetings and votes not stipulated in these bylaws should follow Roberts Rules of Order.

Structure of LETR

LETR State Committee

  • The LETR State Committee has a director and an executive committee made up of:
    • Two assistant directors (East and West)
    • One regional director in each of the nine Special Olympics New York regions
  • Eligibility: All law enforcement personnel (police and peace officers)
    • State Committee members must be active members of the LETR program to remain voting members of the State Committee. If inactive for a term of one year, the member will be removed from State Committee correspondence.
    • A potential State Committee member will be invited to a State Committee meeting for an introduction. At the end of each State Committee meeting, a vote will take place to elect the new member to the State Committee. The new committee member will not have voting rights until the next meeting.
  • Removal of LETR State or Executive Committee member
    • Executive Committee can remove members by cause with a majority vote from all Executive Committee members currently in office.
  • LETR State Sub-Committees are selected from the ranks of the State Committee. Sub- Committees will be empowered to make decisions based on their purposes as decided by the LETR Director.

Torch Run Director Selection

  • Torch Run Director will be elected by the State Committee
    • Voting takes place every two years preceded by a nomination process.
    • Executive Committee is selected by the Torch Run Director.

Voting

  • For items voted on at LETR State Committee meetings
    • All votes will be decided by a simple majority of all those eligible and present to vote
  • For items voted on by email, fax, etc.
    • All votes will be decided by simple majority of all eligible State Committee members who respond by the deadline
  • All votes will be verified by one Special Olympics New York staff representative (selected by CEO) and one representative designated by the Torch Run Director
  • All voting results will be made available upon request.

Final Leg Selection

  • A nomination for the Final Leg can come from any member of the LETR Sate Committee.
  • Selection will be made by a committee comprised of active past Final Leg participants and a Special Olympics New York representative.
  • Decision will be made by simple majority vote from all nominated candidates.

LETR International Conference Selection

  • The chair of the anchor events located in each region will be invited to attend.
  • In an effort to reward long-standing LETR volunteers and entice rookie participation, discretionary spots will be selected by the Torch Run Director and a Special Olympics New York representative. The number of spots available will be determined by the Special Olympics New York Budget.
  • Most recent past Final Leg participant will be invited to attend.
  • Torch Run Director will be invited to attend.

Honorary Athlete

  • On January 1 of each year, the Torch Run Director will select a Global Messenger from Special Olympics New York to serve as an at-large member of the committee from January 1 through December 31.

Routine Business

  • Torch Run Director and Executive Committee are empowered to make decisions on New York Law Enforcement Torch Run business not pertaining to a Special Olympics New York policy.

The Torch Run has grown over the years and now includes many additional fundraising opportunities and activities led by New York State Law Enforcement volunteers. Events take place throughout the state and throughout the year.

Interested in volunteering? Contact us.

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